Bioethics watchdog Wesley Smith noticed a recent polling question from Gallup noting that one-third of all Americans think animals should have the same rights as human beings. This comes at the same time that 34% of Americans think unborn babies should have no rights at all.
I hope these people didn’t think the question through.
Gallup reports that a worrying 32% of respondents believe animals should have “the same rights as people.”
Good grief. That would mean no ownership of animals. After all, people have the right not to be owned.
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It would also mean no eating meat, animal experimentation to achieve medical and scientific advances, or perhaps even the ownership of pets–unless one had to obtain a guardianship for dogs, cats, fish, and birds as they often do for a dependent human.
Sixty-two percent agreed animals deserve “some protection from harm and exploitation.” Of course they do. That’s the difference between animal rights–an ideology believing in human/animal equality–and animal welfare, which posits a human obligation to treat animals humanely.